Thai Airways has made some updates to its frequent flyer program, Royal Orchid Plus, with the program changes kicking in starting October 1, 2019.

While some may not be that welcoming of changes in general, Thai Airways promises the changes made to its frequent flyer program are for the better. The changes are designed to let Thai Airways' valued customers and frequent flyer program members earn more miles, attain or retain top tier status faster. The carrier wants to make more perks, rewards and privileges available to its loyalty program members.

For starters, Thai Airways will have a new mileage earning structure that closely aligns with passengers' classes of service, depending on the amount of fare paid. Here's a quick rundown on the updated mileage earning structure:

  • Royal First Class, Booking Class F: 250% (instead of 150%)
  • Royal First Class, Booking Class A/P: 200% (instead of 150%)
  • Royal Silk Class, Booking Class C/D: 150% (instead of 125%)
  • Royal Silk Class, Booking Class J/Z: 125% (unchanged)
  • Premium Economy, Booking Class U: 110% (unchanged)
  • Economy, Booking Class Y/B: 110% (instead of 100%)
  • Economy, Booking Class M/H/Q: 100% (unchanged)
  • Economy, Booking Class T/K/S: 75% (unchanged)
  • Economy, Booking Class G: 50% (unchanged)
  • Economy, Booking Class V/W: 25% (unchanged)

Keep in mind Royal Orchid Plus Gold and Platinum members will earn 500 minimum miles on all Thai Airways- and Thai Smile-operated flights. For Thai Airways- and Thai Smile-operated flights that are less than 500 in distance, Royal Orchid Plus Basic and Silver members will earn 200 minimum miles.

Another update to the Royal Orchid Plus program is the addition of new tier status miles. Earned on each qualifying international Thai Airways flight, these additional miles are a great way for passengers to rack up miles quickly. Platinum members will earn an extra 20% of flown miles; Gold members will earn an extra 10% of flown miles; and Silver members will earn an extra 5% of flown miles. Take note the tier status miles earned are on top of actual miles flown and any applicable class of service bonus miles.

For example, a Platinum member who flies one-way in Royal First Class Booking Class F between London and Bangkok would have flown 5,928 miles in reality. With the new frequent flyer program updates, this traveler will receive 14,820 miles (including 250% class of service miles) and 2,964 tier status miles (i.e. 20% x 14,820 miles) - a total of 17,784 miles.

Thai Airways has also simplified its award charts for the benefit of Royal Orchid Plus program members. Click here to learn more about the updates.

Denise Bay is a staff writer at Email: